Russia rescues Bank of Moscow in record bail-out

image captionThe bank's erstwhile head, Andrei Borodin, has fled the country

Russia's fifth largest bank, Bank of Moscow, has been given the biggest bail-out in Russian history.

The $14bn rescue came after another bank, VTB, gained control through a hostile bid, only to uncover bad loans valued at $9bn - a third of the bank's assets.

Bank of Moscow's former head, Andrei Borodin, has fled the country, and a warrant has been issued for his arrest.

The bank was used by ex-Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov to fund property projects.

'Fraudulent lending'

Mr Luzhkov was sacked by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev last year.

In a statement issued in London, Mr Borodin said he was shocked at the size of the bail-out, and claimed that VTB's takeover of the bank was politically motivated.

VTB, for its part, accused Bank of Moscow of committing "fraudulent lending" under Mr Borodin's control, while Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin has called for a criminal investigation.

Under the rescue deal, the Russian central bank will provide a 295bn rouble ($10.6bn) 10-year loan at a negligible interest rate to Bank of Moscow.

Meanwhile, VTB will invest a further 100bn roubles to recapitalise the bank - taking its ownership share from 46% to 75%, enough to qualify for state aid.

VTB, Russia's second-biggest lender, had itself to be rescued by the Russian state to the tune of $6.4bn during the financial crisis.

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